Selected Short Stories (Dual-Language)

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Courier Corporation, May 5, 2014 - Foreign Language Study - 272 pages
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Considered a founder of the realistic school of fiction, prolific French novelist Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850) wrote in meticulous detail, depicting ordinary and undistinguished lives in tales that nevertheless abounded in melodramatic plots and violent passions.
This convenient dual-language volume includes six of Balzac's most highly regarded short stories: "An Episode During the Terror," a deftly told tale contrasting material poverty with spiritual riches; "A Passion in the Desert," inspired by Balzac's interest in the Near East and his fascination with Napoleon; "The Revolutionary Conscript," a critique of provincial life; "The Forsaken Woman," an intriguing study of female psychology and a how-to seduction manual; "The Unknown Masterpiece," which focuses on the conflict between an artist's commitment to his work and his relationship with the woman who loves him; and "Facino Cane," a tale of a destitute blind man's dreams of restoring his former wealth and power.
Stanley Appelbaum has provided excellent, line-for-line English translations of the text, as well as an informative introduction and notes related to each story. This superb selection of tales by one of the world's great writers of fiction is sure to delight students and devotees of French language and literature.

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About the author (2014)

Born on May 20, 1799, Honore de Balzac is considered one of the greatest French writers of all time. Balzac studied in Paris and worked as a law clerk while pursuing an unsuccessful career as an author. He soon accumulated enormous debts that haunted him most of his life. A prolific writer, Balzac would often write for 14 to-16 hours at a time. His writing is marked by realistic portrayals of ordinary, but exaggerated characters and intricate detail. In 1834, Balzac began organizing his works into a collection called The Human Comedy, an attempt to group his novels to present a complete social history of France. Characters in this project reappeared throughout various volumes, which ultimately consisted of approximately 90 works. Some of his works include Cesar Birotteau, Le Cousin Pons, Seraphita, and Le Cousine Bette. Balzac wed his lifelong love, Eveline Hanska in March 1850 although he was gravely ill at the time. Balzac died in August of that year.

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